A bright white smile is a hallmark of youth, but with the increase of whitening products on the market, patients want to know ‘is teeth whitening safe’. At Lotus Smiles Dental we use proven teeth whitening from Pola and Zoom, because they deliver fast results, are safe and affordable. Let’s take a closer look at why safe whitening is essential for a healthy smile.
Why Do Teeth Discolour In The First Place?
While certain lifestyle choices like can affect the overall colour of your teeth, discolouration occurs in the dentin, which is located deep inside the tooth, below your tooth enamel.
Drinking lots of coffee, black tea and cola, and using tobacco products can stain your teeth and exacerbate any discolouration. These products cause surface or extrinsic stains and they can generally be managed by professional dental cleaning. Whitening toothpastes may help a little, but they may damage the surface of your teeth.
So, Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
In order to address the root cause of tooth discolouration however, whitening products must penetrate the enamel of the teeth, to get to the dentin. Only products containing high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide are strong enough to do this.
How Safe Is Teeth Whitening?
High strength bleaching agents raise questions over safety but the good news is that Australian consumers are protected by legislation, which dictates that only professional dental practitioners may administer whitening products containing more than 6% hydrogen peroxide or 18% hydrogen carbamide.
How Strong Are Teeth Whitening Systems?
Typically, in-chair whitening treatments produce the fastest results, and only require one sitting to achieve them. These products may contain 25% to 37% hydrogen peroxide or carbamide and it is for safety reasons that they should only be used by a professional.
In addition to the whitening products being fortified to protect your teeth against damage, your dentist will ensure that your soft tissues are protected against damage and irritation. Any bleaching agent that spills onto your gums should be wiped away immediately.
Your dentist will also take special care to ensure that the products are not left on for longer than recommended and provide you with post-care advice to minimise tooth sensitivity after your treatment.
Teeth are brushed thoroughly and rinsed after each treatment to ensure that no residual product is left behind. While some tooth sensitivity is to be expected after teeth whitening, this sensation has usually gone away by the next day.
Managing Whitening Risks Before Treatment
Before anyone undergoes teeth whitening you must get the go-ahead from your dentist. It’s very important that your mouth is checked for any signs of decay or any weaknesses in your tooth enamel.
Having a professional clean before your whitening treatment will ensure your teeth are free of plaque and tartar, and will give your dentist a smooth surface on which to apply the whitening treatment.
For safety reasons, teeth whitening is not permitted for children or pregnant women.
How Can You Ensure Safety When Whitening At Home?
Professional teeth whitening systems are available in take-home format and contain a lower concentration of bleaching agent. As such, they are slower acting and may need to be used for 5 to 14 days before you achieve your desired shade of white.
Nevertheless, they are still very potent and must be used with caution. Always follow the instructions given by your dentist, and never wear your trays for longer than prescribed. Once your teeth have reached your desired shade ,you should stop whitening as prolonged use can weaken your tooth enamel.
Should you wish to maintain a top up schedule, your dentist will give you professional advice on how long to wait before you whiten again.
While there are lots of gels, strips and whitening kits available over the counter and through the Internet, it is recommended that you only use products endorsed by your dentist, to ensure optimal safety.
By using products from reputable companies, patients can rest assured that the relevant safety testing has been done and the products are safe enough for use. We make use of Zoom and Pola whitening products because of their proven safety track record.
Keeping Your Tooth Enamel Strong And Healthy
Regular visits to your dentist and professional teeth cleaning can help to preserve your tooth enamel and keep it in a healthy condition. Using abrasive toothpastes and at-home whitening treatments can strip and damage your tooth enamel, making it more prone to staining.
Examples of abrasive at-home or DIY whitening remedies to avoid include bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice, vinegar, charcoal and fruit sugars.
Your dentist is the best person to advise you on teeth whitening and the risk factors as they pertain to your teeth. To find out more about the answer to is teeth whitening safe, it’s time to make an appointment and book your consultation with us: (03) 8737 9359.